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Derrick Olesen

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Derrick Olesen "I will bring positive energy and motivation to the board table. My work experiences have developed strong skills in analysis, decision making, and time management. I intend to provide leadership and direction to the board and contribute in ways that will help make the credit union successful in its mission."


Statement of intent

I look forward to the challenge, responsibility and pride that go with the role of director of such a respected organization. I will bring positive energy and motivation to the board room table. My work experiences have developed strong skills in analysis, decision making and time management. I intend to provide leadership and direction to the board and contribute in ways that will help make the credit union successful in its mission.

I have a passion for lifelong learning and apply what I have learned for the benefit of my family, my community and my causes. I consider it good citizenship to participate in my community through volunteer work at many levels and have actively volunteered in many ways throughout my adult life. I was a member and director of the Strathfiner Credit Union at our work site when we made the decision to wind it down after 52 years of operation. Although it was a difficult decision, Servus Credit Union stepped up and I was very appreciative of the way the handover took place for all our members. It steeled my resolve to continue on with governance and seek nomination on the Servus board.

Servus’s vision is “Servus Credit Union builds a better world – one member at a time.” As a director, what would you see as your most important contribution to achieving this vision?

My most important contribution to the vision to build a better world one member at a time will be my commitment, integrity and dedication to the role of director. I bring all my experience, education, training and values when I commit to a cause or role, in this case being a director. My experience and business acumen covers a broad range of skills and helps me to see where value is added, where it is needed, and where I have the skills to improve it! I will add my voice to the board and share my experience to help fulfill the vision. It is in this give-and-take that we build a better world, one relationship at a time.

What distinguishes a credit union from the chartered banks?

Anyone can open an account at a chartered bank but they would not have the potential to say how that bank is operated or governed. At a credit union, you must be a member to transact your business with them, which means you must purchase common shares. This requirement to be a member also carries with it significant benefits. Some of which include being part of the organization (not just a number), having the opportunity to influence policy by running for a position as a director in a democratic vote by all the members and receiving a patronage refund because profits are shared with the members. Membership allows you to feel part of the organization and part of its community.

What are the key issues or challenges facing the financial services industry today and how could Servus deal with them?

There are many issues facing all service industries today, including consumer expectations, technology advances which bring both opportunity (ease of service) and threats (cybersecurity, identity theft, technological attrition), increased competition, regulatory pressure (including language about whether we can say we provide "banking" service). The list can be as long as you want to make it. The key to survival in the long-term is to provide services valued by patrons at a cost that can be competitive, using technology that is simple, effective and efficient, and provides security both for transactions and identity. One key element will be to ask members what is important to them and then ensure we deliver those services competitively. We need to leverage our existing information technology as well as innovate without unduly adding complexity or barriers to the members.

What knowledge, skills and experience would you add to the collective board team to help Servus Credit Union into the future?

I have an engineering degree and a master's degree in business (MBA). This education teaches a logical approach to analysis and I also have experience and training in the six sigma process improvement approach (Certified Black Belt). I have over 35 years' experience in the oil and gas industry and have had many positions in my career where I have gained experience and been successful in various engineering, business, marketing and organizational effectiveness roles. I have a true spirit of giving so sharing my knowledge and experience in a governance capacity will greatly benefit the board team, including specialized committee work. I have proven experience on an employee-owned credit union (Strathfiner) and another board (Sherwood Park Primary Care Network) in risk management, finance and public awareness. That experience prepares me for the task and commitment of serving on the Servus board.

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